Tuesday, September 02, 2008


I Have Come Here Today to Spread the Message.

I was shaving this morning, half-asleep, with the television on in the background. You know how it is, the TV is on, but you're not really paying attention, when suddenly you hear something that catches your attention. Normally for me, it's one of two things: that mayo commercial that uses a Flaming Lips song, or one of the Allstate commercials with the two tailgating guys. I love those commercials, even though my house, car and life are insured with someone else.

This morning, it was a commercial about the upcoming switch from standard analog to digital broadcasting. Unless you just haven't been paying attention for the past year, or live in Canada, you have seen countless advertisements on TV and probably been sent roughly eight tons of "informative" pamphlets by your cable or satellite company. Personally, I have known about this switch for years since I once worked at Best Buy part-time. It was the scare tactic they suggested we use to get people to purchase high definition instead of standard definition, and that was in 2002 or 2003.

The commercial this morning was a whole new animal. It encouraged people to explain what the switch meant to others who would not understand. In essence, it was a call to young people to go visit their elderly friends, family, and neighbors, and spread the gospel of HDTV. To me, this is a bit ridiculous for two reasons. One, with all of the information being distributed, it's hard to miss that something is changing. Two, if my grandparents were concerned that they didn't understand, they would just ask me.

Instead, Time Warner cable apparently wants me to don a short-sleeved white dress shirt and clip-on tie, going door-to door asking people if they have heard of the broadcasting signal change. Then, when they tell me they "already have a television signal," or that "it's 2AM and you're drunk, why are you on our porch and where are your pants for the love of God," I should hand them a pamphlet on High Definition and try to weasel my way inside to examine their cable box. Barring that, I should invite them over to my house to watch this glorious High Definition so that I can convert their boxes (that sounds kind of dirty.)

I just don't see the big deal. The worst that can possibly happen is that my crazy Aunt Mabel who lives in a cabin in the woods misses an episode or two of Cops. Then, the next day, she puts on her "going to town" clothes, drives to Radio Shack (official motto: Yes, we still exist.) and buys a converter box. Also, I think it's stupid that the government is subsidizing this switch with coupons to pay for the converter boxes. Is the government truly responsible for making sure no one misses Oprah or Judge Judy tomorrow? Shouldn't they be doing something wacky like reducing the deficit or chasing terrorists?

At any rate, it's getting late, and I'm drunk, so it's about time to put on my clip-on, get on my bike, and go wake the neighbors.

JT out.

Sounds like a good way to get shot!
AHAHAHAHAH that was hilarious...Dude, I agree 100%. Don't they have something better to spend money on. Besides, Let Oprah and all of the networks subsidize the boxes. If Oprah can buy all of Macon,GA LG televisions and Ugg boots, she can pay for part of their digital boxes...
I meant LG Refrigerators with TV's...DUH.
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